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Checkmate: Burberry Sues Rapper Burberry Perry for Trademark Dilution

Do you know the Burberry checks in fashion? How about the rapper Burberry Perry? Well, the British makers of fine plaid products are suing the Atlanta-based rapper for using their branded checks in association with his personal brand, and in the process the internationally renowned designers are creating press for the not-that-well-known musician.

Maybe Burberry Perry was just taking a page from the Gucci Mane book even if Burberry would have been the really clever choice for Perry Moise's adopted moniker. In any case, Moise of Atlanta, Georgia is being sued by Burberry Group for trademark dilution.

Trademark Dilution

Reportedly, Burberry Perry uses the famous trademark plaids for his own personal brand and has admitted to as much. The rapper identifies with the designs so much that he uses them for his social media platforms, the British company complains. This dilutes the brand and damages its value.

According to the Burberry's filing, as reported by Fashion Law, Moise engaged in "obvious copying of the Burberry trademarks" with the "intent to benefit from the brand that admittedly inspired the 'Burberry Perry' name and Burberry-dependent persona."

The complaint states, "Inspired by Burberry and its trademarks -- which have been used exclusively and continuously by Burberry and its authorized licensees for 160 years --Defendant adopted 'Burberry Perry' as his stage name, without the authorization of Burberry, and is using the fame and renown of the BURBERRY trademark for his own personal gain, to promote his albums, garner media attention, and grow a fan base, all to the detriment of Burberry."

Check Mate

In the funny way of cases, by filing this lawsuit, the brand is drawing the very attention to Burberry Perry that it hopes to stop with its intellectual property claim. Burberry complains that the American rapper's persona and look are inspired by its 160-year-old checks and that he hasn't licensed their use as required by law, thus stealing from the brand, essentially. But in making the argument it is also sealing their intertwined fates in the courts and media, and making free press for the mostly unknown Moise, now better known as Burberry Perry.

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